Let’s discuss, “Is Working from Home a good idea”.
The idea of being able to work from home has not always been a mainstream ideology. Covid-19 and government mandates have radically changed that mentality, by force. Now that the world is slowly getting back to the office – it’s been suggested that over 55 percent of all employees want to continue to be able to work from home. A permanent solution they say or they’ll seek other employment. Is that a good idea?
The Top 5 reasons working from home is a good idea.
- You could gain more work hours in the day from your employees. Working from home gives them an opportunity to remove hours of travel time from their day. They could be providing those hours gained as a service to your business.
- Working from home for some employees is a lot less stressful. Some have family commitments that they can now easily take care of, removing a lot of stress from their day-to-day lives. Travel time is a stressor for many employees that have to spend one or two hours a day, traveling to and from work. Some pass the time effectively, but for others, it’s just time allocated to be stressed and or depressed. Less stressed employees are a better asset for the company.
- A business can benefit from downsizing or at least not having to expand its office space. This can save overall costs to the business or can offset the costs of a salary of a new employee.
- Many businesses that have tried allowing workers to work from home have noted that there are opportunities for better productivity by staff. They get more done.
- This type of culture, being able to work from home, gives employees power and control. People want to work for companies where there is flexibility in their work schedules.
- No travel time for employees, they can work longer.
- Less stress.
- Better productivity.
- Businesses can save costs on real estate.
- Flexible schedules.
With any business and employee dynamic, there are always plusses and minuses with any agreement between both without exceptions. There is a risk involved with having employees work from home occasionally, or permanently. Employees are too often either misled or misunderstand what those risks are that the business has to take on. The question becomes are they a reasonable risk? Selenium Technology Partners takes a deep dive into the question of risk.
The Top 5 Reasons not working from home is a good idea.
- With something new, there is always the honeymoon period. Working from home for the first few months can be exhilarating, rejuvenating, and productive. That doesn’t always stay that way. There will be and are many employees that lose their productivity and lose interest in taking advantage of working from home. Even though they continue to do so. It’s hard for a business to manage these types of changes as they’re often very subtle or happen over a period of time. Employees working from home eventually see working from home as ‘normal’ and those advantages of the honeymoon are gone.
- Business managers and leaders often see that the culture is negatively impacted by employees working from home consistently and missing out on personal face-to-face interactions with their peers, and management. Zoom just doesn’t cut it. It’s not the same thing.
- There can be resentments that build up between employees that can’t work from home and those that must remain in the office. Not every role is capable of working well outside the office. That is not up for negotiations. There are roles where you have to be in the office and that will NEVER change. A business needs to take this into consideration at all times.
- Productivity for some people and roles are difficult to quantify or manage. Employers like to see that their expenditures are worthwhile. You don’t want to be in a situation where your role is hard to asses it’s productivity. In a downturn in the market – those roles become expendable even if they’re not.
- The biggest issue that I can see is just the overall well-being of employees. Employees are People, and people are social and need to be social.
- Loss of productivity in some employees.
- Negative impact on culture.
- Resentment from at-office staff.
- Difficult to justify or quantify roles.
- Negative impact on employees’ well-being.
There are other pros and cons that could be discussed. The overall challenge is whether or not, on the whole, there are more Pros than Cons. That is typically how things work. But not here. At least that’s not what I think.
If there is one con that far outweighs the pros, then that would be an ideal indication that working from home is not a good idea. At least not on a continual basis.
Working from the office is by far the best approach. Here’s why.
From a social and economic standpoint, we gain a lot by being with and participating in corporate social groups that are within the office.
With that, we are able to have face-to-face connections with staff in casual conversations at the water cooler, in the hall, or to and from offices. That process is meant to establish social friendships and emotional relationships. You will NEVER have that working from home.
The last huge impact is on your career. You will never get noticed working at home by managers that you don’t report to or by executives wandering the halls or office spaces. Those accidental conversations lead to job changes, career choices, work assignments, and projects – all opportunities based on those casual meetings.
Executives can’t get involved with you socially or career-wise, or mentor you (unless it’s a directive), and that creates a dead-end job for you and puts you at simply being a numbered employee working from home. That can easily be replaced if productivity is replaceable.
In a career, you want to be irreplaceable. For that, you have to show up.
Can there be a compromise in some situations, yes? Employees that are dependent on the job, just starting their career, need to be at the office at least three times a week.
In most cases, leaving early on a Friday, and or getting an extra day off in the summertime months- but being in the office full time – is a much better result for everyone.
Seek out social situations with management
Be at the office to join new projects and new conversations
Be engaged in corporate happenings
Treat the workplace as if it’s somewhere where you NEED to be.
For information on how our human resources department at Selenium Technology Partners handles our work from policy, contact our HR department for more details.